Dinner staged for 54

Walking into the Showcase Theater this week, the audience was confused by the chairs on the stage that surrounded the set.

As people got over the shock of the unorthodox seating arrangement, a couple of students moved chairs around to be more comfortable, but soon they were informed that the actors would be walking by closely and that would disturb the scenes.

It was exciting to be seated on stage, so closely to where the action was happening. I had only seen it once before and was excited to experience it again.

I liked that “The Dining Room” was presented this way, and I think it worked really well and kept the audience more engaged than if they were sitting further back.

The actors did a good job at transitioning from scene to scene and changing their personalities to suit the 54 characters played by the 10 cast members.

I was very impressed by Luis “Jonny” Muñoz; his voice carried very well throughout the play and his characters were very well played.

Another of the actors that stood out to me was Stephanie Drymalski, her body language was outstanding and it made the characters she played feel more real.

It was really interesting to see all the diverse scenes which went from two teenage girls sneaking into their parents’ liquor cabinet to an aging woman with Alzheimer’s all in just one setting, a dining room.

At times there were multiple scenes on stage and the characters payed no attention to one another, I was very impressed by all the actors and how well they handled the distraction into morphing to the next scene.

The director, Gloria Goodwin, did well in casting all the talented actors that could handle the difficult tasks of staying in character.

Although the play did offer different types of scenes ranging from funny, serious, and touching, it was not as impressive as I would have thought, I expected more light humor and less seriousness.

I don’t think the humor of the play was matched to the age of audience there the night I attended. I think “The Dining Room” would have more interaction to the scenes when presented to an older audience, rather than the college-aged students, who were the majority of my audience group.

In “The Dining Room” performance Thursday night, Matt Teel and fellow cast members gather around the table for a toast in the final scene.
In “The Dining Room” performance Thursday night, Matt Teel and fellow cast members gather around the table for a toast in the final scene.